Oakland businesses plan to strike on Tuesday, demand public safety resources

New details are emerging about a planned Oakland merchant strike set for next Tuesday. Business owners and residents alike are frustrated with what they are seeing when it comes to crime in Oakland and the lack of police response.

More than 200 businesses are allegedly planning on participating in the strike on September 26 at 10 a.m. over their concerns on crime and the toll it's taking on their businesses. A press conference is planned at Le Cheval at 1007 Clay Street. 

Earlier this week, KTVU reported the beloved Vietnamese restaurant is closing its doors at the end of the month. They say it's because of crime. 

The restaurant's owner says customers aren't coming in due to fears of crime and the reality of car break-ins that have plagued downtown Oakland. 

Carl Chan, president of Oakland Chinatown's Chamber of Commerce, said enough is enough when it comes to crime in Oakland. He called for the business strike and demands that city leaders provide resources to merchants. He wants businesses to strike for a minimum of two hours Tuesday morning.

A list of the merchants participating in Tuesday's strike was not immediately available. This past weekend, Chan would not provide the San Francisco Chronicle with a full list of participating businesses. 

The flyer for the strike includes "direct assistance to businesses," and "lower crime rates," as part of their demands.  

Chan joined KTVU's The Four on Monday to elaborate on why he's calling for a business strike. 

"Many businesses are facing a very challenging time dealing with crimes. People are afraid to come out to patronize our businesses." Chan is hoping the Alameda County Sheriff, as well as the California Highway Patrol, FBI and ATF can provide assistance in Oakland. "We wanna stop closure of any business in our city." 

CHP had already committed to provide more officers to fight crime in Oakland, despite criticism that data shows that hasn't worked in the past. 

Merchants are planning to strike on Tuesday, Sept. 26th to bring attention to public safety issues in the city of Oakland. 

Business owners recently rallied together after the city failed to meet a deadline that would have granted them state funding for retail crime. 

"Small business are the biggest employers of the city. We are the ones actually generating many taxes for city, county, state and federal," said Chan. He said direct assistance in monetary form could help businesses pay rent and taxes. 

Oakland City Council unanimously passed a resolution this week, authorizing nearly $30 million in grant money to be used to provide violence prevention and intervention services to youth for the next two years. District 5 Councilmember Noel Gallo said the funding would go to several nonprofits. 

"It is an activity that is greatly needed here in the city of Oakland to work directly with our students, with our families, with our neighborhood." Gallo said the effort would require daily cooperation with the Oakland Police Department to stop "retail thefts, smash and grabs and certainly right now with our guns and assaulting grandma and grandpa. It's out of control. We need to do everything we can to stop that behavior. We've been through this before," the lifelong Oakland resident said. 

KTVU's Crystal Bailey contributed to this report. 


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